Friday, January 29, 2010

Grand Am: Rolex 24

So its time once again to properly “Kick Off” the New Year’s Motor Racing season with the 48th running of the Daytona 24hrs, better known as the Rolex 24. And while Y’all are waitin’ for some ‘lil ‘Ol Pigenskinen game, perhaps you’ll wanna tune into the SPEED Channel this weekend instead, as they’ll be hosting a monster 16hrs of action with TV coverage beginning Saturday at Noon PACIFIC. (Check local listings)

GT Class
Although not running with the Big ‘Dawgs, nee DP class, nevertheless I’ll be rootin’ for my Homeboyz to kick ARSE ‘N Claim victory in the GT category,

Team Seattle/Dempsey Racing
The ‘lil Team that could is none other then Team Seattle in partnership with Dempsey Racing, as in Television Heartthrob Patrick Dempsey. As once again Team Seattle will be raising money for our Childrens Hospital via Donations for every lap completed. So look for the Numbers 40 & 41 to claim a 1-2 sweep in the GT Category, albeit the No. 41 ahead, as this would be a great result for long time Endurance specialist Don Kitch Jr.

Team Seattle Test Weekend notes

DP Class
Here’s a quick look at some of the Daytona Prototype competitors, as I’ve also heard that Massimiliano “MAD MAX” Papis will be joining the fray, just don’t know whose racecar he’s piloting…

Bob Stalling Racing
The defending Grand Am Champions John “Creedance” Fogarty & Alex Gurney, will once again be joined by some cat known as Jimmy Johnson, with 1996 CART Champion & KV Racing Technology Co-Owner Jimmy vasser rounding out the Team’s single car entry, which will now run under the banner of Chevrolet power after the demise of the Pontiac brand.

Brumos/ Action Express Racing
Brumos will once again return with its famous No. 59, with a massive five Driver line-up, in hopes of giving legendary Sports Car Ace Hurley Haywood an appropriate send-off into his reluctant retirement… As the 61yr Old Floridian will be partnered by defending Overall Rolex 24 winners David Donohue & Darren Law, along with Endurance stalwart Butch Leitzinger and current Luczo Dragon Indy Car Ace ‘RAFA. (Rafael Matos) As the victory would also be a great Pre-40th Birthday present for Leitzinger.

And although Brumos is reportedly cutting back to just one entry in this year’s Grand Am title chase, its sister No. 58 will be replaced by a Cooperative effort run by Action Express Racing, a new Racing Team with Drivers Terry Borcheller, Joao Barbosa And Champ Car & Sports Car Pilot Ryan Dalziel plus Audi Factory Driver Mike Rockenfeller behind the wheel of the No. 9 Riley Porsche V-8 DP.

Ganassi/Sabates (CGRFS)
Once again Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) will focus its primary attention upon the duo of venerable Scott Pruett and rising Star Memo Rojas in this year’s upcoming Grand Am competition. And while the team continues on with its Riley Daytona Prototype (DP) chassis, once again the “Cheepster” has taken a calculated gamble by switching to Bavarian power, by replacing its Lexus lumps with BMW in 2010.

And this most successful Sports Car Team will once again attack the High-banks of ‘Day-toner with a stellar two car line-up, which interestingly sees Justin ‘BIG UNIT Wilson paired with Pruett, Rojas and Marino Franchitti in the No. 01 Telmex Riley BMW DP

CGRFS’s second car, the No. 2 Riley BMW DP will be piloted by Ganassi’s IndyCar Champions Dario Franchitti & Scott Dixon, along with Chip’s two ‘BOMBER (RASSCAR) pilots Juan Pablo (“MAC”) Montoya & Jamie McMurray

I first heard about this in the USA Today Sports section of all places, as after all it’s RASSCAR related, or as the ‘CAM-WOW likes to call it: Spin-Cup… Max Papis has replaced Marino Franchitti in the No. 01, as there’s NO word on whether or not the switch has anything to do with the younger Franchitti still being on his Honeymoon?

Level 5 Motorsports
Running a brace of BMW powered Riley DP chassis, look for the Number’s 55 & 95 to run towards the front of the pack with its Star studded Driver’s line-up including Ryan “The IZOD Dude” Hunter-reay and The Hamburgular, nee Sebastian Bourdais… Along with other Hotshue’s Sasha Massen, Lucas Luir and Emanuel Collard to name a few.

Michael Shank Racing
MSR will once again return with two Riley Ford DP’s, with its No. 6 being piloted by Mark Patterson, (ex-IRL Driver) Michael Valiante, (ex-Champ Car Star) RPM’s A.J. Allmendinger, and Brian Frisselle.

The No. 60 will see Team Regulars and MSR Full Season competitors Oswaldo Negri & John Pew partnered with Mark Wilkins in and Burt Frisselle; as the Brothers Frisselle take on the Flying Franchitti’s in the Daytona Prototype class.

Spirit of Daytona Racing
This somewhat unknown Team will contest this year’s Rolex with the Eddie Cheever produced Coyote chassis motivated by the Porsche Cayenne V8 powerplant developed for Grand Am racing.

2009 Overall Rolex 24 winners Buddy “Hot Rod” Rice, (2004 Indy 500 winner) & Antonio Garcia Will be joined by Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) new recruit Paul Menard along with late signing Darren “Dangermouse” Manning…